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SG/SM/20876
3 September 2021

Afghanistan Faces Looming Humanitarian Catastrophe, Secretary-General Warns, Ahead of Ministerial Meeting to Address Country’s Growing Needs

The following statement was issued by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

As the United Nations continues to stand in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, the Secretary-General will travel to Geneva to convene on 13 September a high-level ministerial humanitarian meeting to address the growing needs in the country.

The conference will advocate for a swift scale-up in funding so the life-saving humanitarian operation can continue and appeal for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to make sure Afghans continue to get the essential services they need.

Afghanistan faces a looming humanitarian catastrophe.  Nearly half of Afghanistan’s 38 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.  One in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from.  Nearly half of all children under the age of 5 are predicted to be acutely malnourished in the next 12 months.

The United Nations remains committed to delivering humanitarian assistance to millions of people in need.  Development gains must also be protected to link the humanitarian response with the medium- and long-term stability of Afghanistan.  The rights, safety and well-being of women and girls are an essential part of this link.

For information media. Not an official record.